AWAKE School Intervention Program: Improving Executive Functions and Reducing Social and Emotional Difficulties in School-Aged Children

Cristina Anamaria Costescu, Adrian Nicolae Opre


This paper reports the results from a school-based intervention for primary and elementary children evaluating the AWAKE project. The AWAKE intervention is a universal program that can be applied by teachers and is designed to improve children’s executive functions and well as their social and emotional well-being.  141 children aged from 6 to 14 from Romania and Austria were involved in the study and 50 teachers implemented the intervention. Out of the 141 children 37 of them had some learning difficulties, 25 children had a difficult social background, and 39 of them had some social and emotional problems as identified by their teachers. The intervention program lasted for 10 weeks with sessions implemented twice a week. Our results showed that children improved their working memory, inhibitory control, planning and behaviour regulation. Moreover, they showed great reduction of their emotional problems, as well as decreased behaviour problems and increased social behaviours. Future studies should investigate the potential of such activities for improving children’s academic performance, as well as the benefits of including them in the school curriculum.



school intervention, executive functions, emotional development

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